I call these early buds the scouts. They appear first and presumably, if all is well, they will sound the all clear and then crocuses will begin to pop up throughout the back lawn.
Today, the crocus scouts found it chilly but not unreasonably so. One can be fooled by warmer days in the middle of winter so I hope they tell the other flowers to wait a bit longer.
After all, February is yet to come and she has her 28 winter demons to exorcise before March brings spring.
Our winter has been relatively mild through the end of January, with just a few spells of cold and snow. One wonders if it is enough winter to count as winter or if the worst has been saved for February? After all, isn't there a minimum amount of winter we need to endure to really enjoy spring, to earn spring with all its fits and false starts?
And I don't think we've reached that minimum amount of winter yet. We are not down and out and sick of snow and begging for a let up in the weather. Far from it. Which makes me think, as many do, that February will bring its weather demons.
The wise gardener, therefore, keeps the hatches buttoned down and watches and waits with gloves, hats, boots, and coats at the ready for daily tromps through the garden to see how it is holding up under the grip of winter.
We will hold our breaths for the next four weeks while winter decides if it will become epic or quietly relinquish its grip and let spring take hold. I'm hoping for the latter, but know to be ready for the former.